It’s tough getting old. One of the saddest parts as we age is we start to lose the great artists that we grew up with. One of the most intense albums of the classic rock era was Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell. It was an album when four powerful musical forces came together to create a brilliant work of art. The vocal power of Meat Loaf the brilliant production skills of Todd Rundgren, the musicianship of the E Street Band and of course the genius songwriting skills of Jim Steinman. Without Jim Steinman there never would have been a Bat Out of Hell album. So today is a sad day because of the passing of Jim Steinman.
The legendary songwriter Jim Steinman was born in New York City on November 1st 1947, two years after World War II ended. Being born right after World War II and in New York City probably lent itself to the excitement and intensity of the music that Jim Steinman composed throughout his life. No one had ever written songs like Jim Steinman. When many people first heard Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell album they were confused. Critics didn’t know how to respond to it. I tell you this, I was completely blown away by it and I couldn’t stop playing it. It was unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. Eventually millions of people felt the same. That initial Bat Out of Hell album sold 14 million copies making it one of the biggest selling albums of all time.
While Jim Steinman’s Bat Out of Hell remains one of the hallmarks of his career the man celebrated musical success many times. 16 years later Steinman’s Bat Out of Hell II (Back Into Hell) produced more monsters hits such as “I ‘d Do Anything For Love But I Won’t Do That.'” The third Bat Out of Hell album in the series which was released in 2006 also contained songs written by Jim Steinman, but was the first Bat Out of Hell album to also utilize outside writers. In 2017, Jim Steinman’s rock musical Bat Out of Hell premiered at the Manchester Opera House in Manchester England.
Jim Steinman also had some great songwriting success outside of the Meatloaf world. In 1997 Jim Steinman produced Celine Dion’s Falling Into You album which contained the huge hit “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” which was also composed by Jim Steinman. Jim Steinman won a Grammy award for that album. Jim Steinman also composed the song “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” It was a huge hit for Bonnie Tyler in 1983. The song went straight to number one. At the same time another Jim Steinman song entitled “Making Love Out of Nothing at All,” recorded by Air Supply hit number two on the charts right behind Bonnie Tyler’s huge hit. Even Barry Manilow had a hit with a Jim Steinman song entitled “Read Em and Weep.” In 2005 , The Everly Brothers recorded a Jim Steinman song entitled “A Kiss Is a Terrible Thing to Waste.
When Meat Loaf lost his voice Jim Steinman was sitting on a whole collection of new songs eventually intended for Meat Loaf to record. The songs would make up Jim Steinman’s only solo album which was released in 1981 entitled Bad For Good. Some of the songs on the album like “Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through,” would eventually be recorded by Meatloaf on the Bat Out of Hell sequels. The song “Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through,” was actually included in the album as a separate 45 single. It was a great package. Another song on the album entitled “Left In The Dark,” was recorded by Barbra Streisand. Jim Steinman’s final album with Meat Loaf was released in 2016 entitled Braver Than We Are.
Professional vocalists loved singing Jim Steinman songs. His compositions were filled with passion and soaring melodies. They just made singers sound better. Professional singers knew they had a great chance of scoring a big-time hit because Jim Steinman knew how to write great songs that turned heads instantly.
Jim Steinman was inducted into the songwriters Hall of Fame. Meatloaf inducted him by saying that there was no way he could ever repay Jim Steinman. And neither can any of us. Jim Steinman brought us such great joy throughout our youth with all the incredible songs he composed for Meat Loaf such as Bat Out Of Hell, Paradise By The Dashboard Light, Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad, Out of the Frying Pan (And into the Fire), You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)” “All Revved Up with No Place to Go” Dead Ringer For Love and so many more…… Jim Steinman inspired thousands of songwriters and singers and artists. Farewell Jim Steinman, we will miss your brilliance.
Jim Steinman’s Bat Out Of Hell
Jim Steinman’s Bat Out Of Hell II
Bat Out Of Hell III
Jim Steinman’s Bat For Good
Braver Than We Are